A few years ago, edgy London-based airline Virgin Atlantic came up with a kitschy but cool marketing campaign aimed at Jetrosexuals, the breed of international traveler who “leaves terra firma behind each day to move business and culture forward.” Though that particular campaign with its snazzy Bond-like mini-movies showcasing the amenities of each US-UK flight has run its course, I’m still enthralled by the idea of being a part of the new jet set, a group that isn’t constrained by social norms or even financial limitations. Going global, being worldly, getting fly truly is all about the mindset – allowing a fleeting desire to taste the unknown manifest into a visceral, sensory, life-changing experience.
I’m a high school teacher, which is hardly a job that entails jetting up-front between Ny-Lon-and-Kong every week, crashing at this Hilton or that. But I move culture forward every day by virtue of just living abroad. Like it or not, in the classroom and in the street, I represent Americans in general, Black Americans in particular, Floridians who aren’t from Miami, Southerners, English-speakers, people from the “First World” (hate that term), and just about any other category that can be identified one way or another by my birth, upbringing, or experience. I constantly challenge or confirm stereotypes and every moment is educational – for me, the person I encounter, or both. And having the power to shape and change perceptions positively and on an international level, to me, is fly.
Consider the impact you have on other people and whether or not you’re influencing them positively. Even if, at this point, it’s only on a local level with your feet planted squarely on terra firma, if what you do makes people feel good or brings a smile to their faces or inspires them to be better, then that’s fly. But what’s supa-dupa-fly is taking the show on the road (or to the skies, rather), flexing that passport, and accepting your role as lay ambassador with verve and aplomb.
And you don’t have to be all slick and flashy in Trump-wear at the airport, but it does help if you’re rolling with the fly carry-on.